As cancer prevention and treatment advances, cancer survival rates continue to increase. The growing population of cancer survivors have unique needs that must be addressed to improve quality of life throughout the cancer-care continuum.


Using data compiled from the Michigan cancer registry, the Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (MiBRFS), and focus groups, several areas of need amongst cancer survivors were identified. The cancer registry provides information on incidence and survival rates to help understand the burden of cancer; this Quantitative data from the Michigan cancer registry and MiBRFS can supplement the qualitative data gained from the focus groups.


In focus groups cancer survivors identified the 27 needs that fell into three categories: improving health-related behavior, utilizing health care services, and receiving emotional support. The MiBRFS provided population estimates for 10 of the 27 needs that were identified by the survivors.


As the cancer survival rate increases, providers and public health workers must implement and promote services that provide care to patients from diagnosis to post-treatment. A population surveillance system, in conjunction with focus groups, can shed light on the exact needs that must be addressed. Surveillance data can demonstrate the impact of public health interventions, like tobacco cessation policies and system change projects, which ultimately impact the health and quality of life of cancer survivors.